Award-winning documentary director

About Gavin Searle

After studying Visual Anthropology at the University of Manchester, I have spent the last two decades making documentaries for British television, directing and shooting 90% of my films.

I have made several episodes for the Tribe series, a ‘reverse anthropology’ series, Meet the Natives, about a group of Pacific islanders travelling across the UK and a feature about the Japanese relationship to fish.

My films have taken me into many different communities across the world, from the Buddhist Layap high up in the Bhutanese Himalayas to the Penan, hunter gatherers whose forest in Sarawak is threatened by loggers; from Eveni reindeer herders in the wilderness of Siberia to the resourceful migrants who make a living in the slums of Lagos. 

En route I have survived a plane crash in the Brazilian Amazon and roamed the deserts of Saddam's Iraq. I have filmed a wannabe shaman losing his mind on ayahuasca in the Peruvian rainforest and an Englishman dressed in a panda suit flying over Japan whilst strapped to a microlight. 

I have won many major UK awards, including from BAFTA, the Royal Television Society, Broadcast and the Televisual Awards.

For more information on my work, please see